Design research has received a lot of attention in the past decades in Europe and America. More recently, some of the works in the area include evaluation of the effectiveness of the systematic design methodology, investigation of evolutionary design, as well as best practices in design pedagogy. These researches are in the context of advancing knowledge in product development especially as it pertains to concept generation, shape design, and general product architecture while seeking to understand the psychology of the designer in the design process.
In Africa, scholarly literature on design research and pedagogy is minimal. The direct implication is that African designers have not deliberately attempted to know what works in competitive product design, as well as design research and pedagogy. As such the continent continues to trail in the evolutionary trends which targets innovation, reduced time to market, user satisfaction, which are key indices for competitiveness. This is despite the use of a structured curriculum (mostly copied from Britain or America) in the teaching of design to engineering students who form the core of designers in the African society.
A visit to the African Market along Jungle Road in Accra will doubtless reveal that Africans are innovative at least to the extent that innovation is about being creative. The pockets of creativity hubs that exist in Africa are sadly not generally considered for what they really are – creativity hubs. Whereas these creativity hubs hold the keys to Africa’s indigenous innovation and technology advancement, they continue to exist only for sightseeing and patronage of interior decoration items – a truly sorry state.
G-Up has been conceived to investigate the patterns of creativity among indigenous art and craft designers with a view to developing models for indigenous innovation and design education.
Together lets G-UP for Africa’s growth.
EFOSA Osamudiamen, Mech.Eng
University of Benin, Nigeria.
5th of January 2017